1

rank

adjective \ ˈraŋk \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of rank

1 : luxuriantly or excessively vigorous in growth
2 : offensively gross or coarse : foul
3 obsolete : grown too large
4 a : shockingly conspicuous
  • must lecture him on his rank disloyalty
  • —David Walden
b : outright used as an intensive
  • rank beginners
5 archaic : lustful, ruttish
6 : offensive in odor or flavor; especially : rancid
8 : high in amount or degree : fraught

rankly

adverb

rankness

noun

Examples of rank in a Sentence

  1. You can't expect a rank beginner like her to know all the rules of the game.

  2. covered with trumpet vines so rank you couldn't see the trellis beneath them

Recent Examples of rank from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rank.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of rank

Middle English, from Old English ranc overbearing, strong; akin to Old Norse rakkr erect and perhaps to Old English riht right — more at right

rank Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of rank

malodorous, stinking, fetid, noisome, putrid, rank, fusty, musty mean bad-smelling. malodorous may range from the unpleasant to the strongly offensive.
    • malodorous fertilizers
stinking and fetid suggest the foul or disgusting.
    • prisoners were held in stinking cells
    • the fetid odor of skunk cabbage
noisome adds a suggestion of being harmful or unwholesome as well as offensive.
    • a stagnant, noisome sewer
putrid implies particularly the sickening odor of decaying organic matter.
    • the putrid smell of rotting fish
rank suggests a strong unpleasant smell.
    • rank cigar smoke
fusty and musty suggest lack of fresh air and sunlight, fusty also implying prolonged uncleanliness, musty stressing the effects of dampness, mildew, or age.
    • a fusty attic
    • the musty odor of a damp cellar
flagrant, glaring, gross, rank mean conspicuously bad or objectionable. flagrant applies usually to offenses or errors so bad that they can neither escape notice nor be condoned.
    • flagrant abuse of the office of president
glaring implies painful or damaging obtrusiveness of something that is conspicuously wrong, faulty, or improper.
    • glaring errors
gross implies the exceeding of reasonable or excusable limits.
    • gross carelessness
rank applies to what is openly and extremely objectionable and utterly condemned.
    • rank heresy

2

rank

noun

Definition of rank

1 a : row, series
b : a row of people
c (1) : a line of soldiers ranged side by side in close order
(2) ranks plural : armed forces
(3) ranks plural : the body of enlisted personnel
d : any of the rows of squares that extend across a chessboard perpendicular to the files
e British : stand 6
2 a : relative standing or position
b : a degree or position of dignity, eminence, or excellence : distinction
  • soon took rank as a leading attorney
  • —J. D. Hicks
c : high social position
  • the privileges of rank
d : a grade of official standing in a hierarchy
3 : an orderly arrangement : formation
4 : an aggregate of individuals classed together usually used in plural
5 : the order according to some statistical characteristic (such as the score on a test)
6 : any of a series of classes of coal based on increasing alteration of the parent vegetable matter, increasing carbon content, and increasing fuel value
7 : the number of linearly independent rows or columns in a matrix

Examples of rank in a Sentence

  1. people of high rank and profession

  2. She's not concerned about rank or wealth.

  3. officers with the rank of captain

  4. He rose to the rank of partner in the law firm.

  5. He longed to join the upper social ranks.

  6. military ranks such as private, corporal, and sergeant

  7. He moved up through the ranks to become vice president of the company.

  8. The organization's ranks have doubled in the past two years.

  9. The flu swept through the ranks, infecting almost every soldier.

  10. Several men were selected from the ranks.

Recent Examples of rank from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rank.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of rank

Middle English, from Anglo-French renc, reng, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hring ring — more at ring


3

rank

verb

Definition of rank

transitive verb
1 : to arrange in lines or in a regular formation
2 : to determine the relative position of : rate
  • a highly ranked prospect
3 : to take precedence of
intransitive verb
1 : to form or move in ranks
2 : to take or have a position in relation to others
  • ranks first in her class

Examples of rank in a Sentence

  1. A magazine recently ranked the school as one of the best in the country.

  2. The city currently ranks as the world's largest.

  3. Students who rank in the top third of their class have a better chance of being accepted to the college of their choice.

Recent Examples of rank from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rank.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of rank

1573



RANK Defined for English Language Learners

rank

adjective

Definition of rank for English Language Learners

  • : having a strong, unpleasant smell

  • : very bad and obvious

  • : complete or total


rank

noun

Definition of rank for English Language Learners

  • : a position in a society, organization, group, etc.

  • : a high position in a society, organization, group, etc.

  • ranks : the people or things that belong to a particular organization or group


rank

verb

Definition of rank for English Language Learners

  • : to place (someone or something) in a particular position among a group of people or things that are being judged according to quality, ability, size, etc.

  • : to have a particular position in a group of people or things that are being judged according to quality, ability, size, etc.

  • : to arrange (people or things) in a line or row


RANK Defined for Kids

1

rank

noun \ ˈraŋk \

Definition of rank for Students

1 : 2row 1, series
  • ranks of houses
2 : a line of soldiers standing side by side
3 ranks plural : the body of enlisted persons in an army
4 : position within a group
  • Who is highest in rank in this office?
5 : high social position
6 : official grade or position
  • the rank of major

2

rank

adjective

Definition of rank for Students

1 : strong and active in growth
  • rank weeds
2 : 2outright 1
  • rank dishonesty
3 : having an unpleasant smell
  • The room was rank with smoke.

3

rank

verb

Definition of rank for Students

ranked; ranking
1 : to take or have a certain position in a group
  • He ranks near the top of the class.
2 : to arrange in a classification
3 : to arrange in lines or in a formation


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